Are you prepared to be a concierge service and not be a traditional real estate agent anymore?
If you want to get into the luxury real estate business, one of the first questions that arise is how you actually attract high-end real estate clients.
Your marketing methods, as well as your professional services, will need to be at an above-average level, including also concierge services for a significantly demanding clientele requiring a high marketing budget.
Since the largest part of high-end clients will come from referrals, an already good track record as a real estate professional will be necessary.
But there is much more to it.
That’s why, in today’s article, I will discuss the reasons why you might want to attract high-end real estate clients, their psychological profile, and the different strategies with which you can most likely attract them.
Two Reasons Why You Might Want to Attract High-End Real Estate Clients
There are probably several reasons, why you want to attract high-end real estate clients.
If you watched the Netflix series “Selling Sunset”, where the real estate brokerage company “Guggenheim Group” is filmed selling various multimillion-dollar homes, it looks kind of easy to earn six to seven figure commissions in just one deal.
So, I wouldn’t blame anybody who would like to get into this real estate niche because of the higher earning potential per deal.
This is probably one of the biggest reasons to get into the luxury real estate market.
Another reason is that it’s presumably the same thing as doing marketing for a median priced property, just for a luxury home.
So your marketing costs stay the same, but on the revenue side, you will get more out of it (a higher return on investment).
However, this reason is a flawed perception, as you will soon read in this article.
The Psychology, Behaviors and Personalities of High-End Real Estate Clients
In order to do some groundwork before we get into the how-to, we need to know which type of target customers we are likely dealing with when it comes to the high-end real estate market.
What are their needs and greeds?
This part of work is always the first thing to do, before we can define the marketing approach.
A question to ask here is what psychological, behavioral and personality traits high-end real estate clients are likely to have.
Let’s start with some counter-intuitive psychological facts.
As stated by a study from Boston College and Harvard Business School, buying luxury items can backfire and make the consumer feel worse (source).
It can even nurture something called the impostor syndrome.
When someone suffers from the impostor syndrome, they doubt their accomplishments and fear of being called out as a “fraud”.
The study continues by mentioning that therefore, luxury items consumers very often feel inauthentic and as a result behave less confidently.
Luxury goods provide buyers with a feedback loop, because every time you, for example, wake-up in your master bedroom that leads to the infinity pool with stunning views of a valley or the sea, it reinforces your own positive self-beliefs (that you are a winner, you are someone of worth, that’s who you are and who you are working to become).
The luxury buyer not only consumes to make an outstanding exterior impression, but also to compensate for interior psychological pain and a harmed self-worth (source).
If you are empathic and can see a bit through people, you will notice that plentiful in the initially mentioned Netflix series.
Although it is a show where I assume sometimes a bit of acting is involved, you will still be able to observe many people with a harmed self-worth (not to be confused with self-esteem).
Another fact is that when it is difficult to determine a product’s quality, consumers tend to prefer prices set at a higher level.
This higher level price conveys a sort of reliability that the product in question is also likely to be of high quality (source).
Let’s now get a bit more into more concrete high-end real estate client behavior.
When it comes to high-end real estate buyers, they are usually busy people, and don’t want to bother researching neighborhood amenities, school ratings and other potential local benefits for hours on end.
Unless their profession isn’t just being daddy’s son and being busy to spend old money that was handed down from generation to generation, they have the purchasing power for a reason.
This has been usually done through hard work, and they are aware of what they have achieved.
Because of their business and the high-value they attribute to their time, they also don’t want to worry about scheduling home inspections or looking for plumbing repair companies.
This is also true when it comes to being able to reach you. Instant replies are basically expected.
Because of their higher time awareness, they also need efficient communication.
This means that you must listen carefully to their needs and communicate each step from the first contact to closing the deal.
That’s why you will also have an advantage when you can provide improved processes, and being overall more efficient.
To help you better understand how to attract them in the next step, let’s summarize a bit the kind of conflicting customer profile of a high-end client.
The Summarized Profile of a High-End Client
On the one hand, these clients are usually high achievers, highly time aware, also aware of what they have achieved, and quite demanding, expecting the best from the product and the real estate professional.
On the other hand, there is this need for making an outstanding exterior impression, but also to compensate for interior psychological pain and a likely harmed self-worth.
In order to get a high quality property, they prefer higher price levels, because this conveys some reliability that the product will also have a high quality.
In the next section, you will learn how we can take advantage of this information for the marketing part.
Ways to Attract High-End Real Estate Clients
There were several cringe-worthy scenes in the Netflix series “Selling Sunset”, I was often fascinated by the superficiality of some of the luxury realtors in this series thinking to myself “how is this even possible?”
But nevertheless, you can find some marketing takeaways and gems of attracting high-end real estate clients.
So, let’s dissect a bit what they did:
- Many open houses, and particularly events and gatherings when they got a new listing under contract
- The broker’s own branded high-quality print magazine with their listings, which were presented during open houses, and sent out by mail
- Homes were always staged
- ‘Driving for dollars’ and letting developers know about the real estate services by handing out the branded magazine with listings or business cards
- Steadily expanding their activities to new neighborhoods
- Sending out print materials
- A top designed and branded office, with branded coffee cups and even with customized door knobs in the shape of their logo
- Logos on the license plates of the realtors’ cars
- High-end cars of the agents (e.g. Porsche, Range Rover, Ferrari, etc.)
- Very well-dressed and above average looking realtors
- Advertising on a large billboard on a very important street in L.A.
- Co-listings with other agents and brokers
Because of the above mentioned high-end client profile, you are not very likely to attract such clients by just doing online marketing with let’s say Google Ads or Facebook Ads, especially when you use these channels to start, are still in the beginning stages and not so well known.
This can be done with median priced homes, but it won’t cut it with high-end real estate clients, although many seem to be down to earth and not overly flashy.
But from what can be seen in the Netflix series and from what I also experienced in the past, these clients are demanding.
Once you are more well-known, you can and should also do online marketing.
But as Daniela Andreevka (Marketing Director) mentioned, referrals are your best marketing tool in luxury real estate.
She states: “If you’ve worked with people buying or selling luxury real estate, chances are that they know other people who will be buying luxury properties in the future.
Since the luxury real estate market is limited, you have to do your absolute best to keep good relations with your past clients to make sure they send you referrals from among their friends and family.” (source)
The same is confirmed by Michael Greensporn in the same article:
“In high-end real estate, referrals are how most people land new clients. When being referred, clients will dive into Google to check your credibility before making a decision on whether to use you.
If your personal branding looks cheap and dated, so do you.” – Michael Greenspoon (source)
Relationships are always important in real estate, but it seems to be even more true in the high-end segment.
You could observe this also already by the marketing methods used in the real estate show I mentioned above.
This leads me to the following additional 15 strategies and facts to attract high-end real estate clients in effective ways:
1) Build relationships in high-end neighborhoods. Yes, this can also be done even in local coffee shops.
2) Make the way you dress consistent with the high-end properties you are offering.
It sounds a bit superficial, but this is a perception game.
If you sell million-dollar properties, you also want to look like a million dollars.
Besides, you will change also your behavior when dressing up as confirmed in this scientific article (source).
Remember that these clients associate high price with high value.
3) Following up and staying in touch with past clients is always important, as already discussed in this article of mine.
But it’s even more important in the high-end real estate market.
By doing that, it will be more likely that you generate referrals.
By the way, even when you stay in contact with buyer or seller clients that are not yet on the high-end level, someday they might be.
So this approach is rather the long-term game.
4) To speak their language and further build relationships, you can also mix in the same circles and become a member of different organizations and clubs such as Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, or BNI and build your network of high net worth individuals.
This approach is still not a short-term game, but might not take as long as maintaining contact with a buyer or seller client from the median priced segment over several years until they have increased her purchasing power by climbing the career ladder.
5) As another approach to speak their language (not to play in their league) you can also consume the same or similar information (e.g. various magazines, blogs, etc.).
By the way, this will also help you in your copywriting to better address potential high-end clients.
This could be a nice add-on to further gaining trust.
However, I think it won’t be as effective if you don’t do the rest well.
7) You will need to be able to go the extra mile and be prepared for very specific questions.
However, this won’t be limited only to questions.
Because high-end clients are often demanding, being also a concierge or offering concierge services is often expected.
This can mean meeting clients on their time, answer the phone at unusual times, and taking care of their questions without delay.
So, if you are asked if special solar panels can be installed, you might not only need to know which company can do this, but also organize and manage the installation itself.
8) An additional boost of trust and exposure is writing high-quality content for local publications.
Besides doing that with a good content marketing strategy (read my article on that here), this can be a good tactic, since many local media outlets are under-resourced and are in need of good content.
9) You might not want to start out straight away with selling million-dollar homes, without having established yourself already as a quality realtor.
Gaining trust with high-end real estate clients is more important than it already is in real estate niches with lower price points.
So, you would need to first build some experience and a track record as a realtor for clients with lower budgets.
10) This one is slightly related to being prepared for specific questions.
It’s a good idea to study ZIP codes that have a high demand of luxury buyers, and study those neighborhoods.
By doing that, you will get to know them very well before you start your marketing campaigns.
11) You will make a high-quality and professional impression if you use highly polished print magazines with your listings as part of your marketing that you can distribute in different ways, such as during open houses, office drop ins, showings, or direct mailing campaigns.
12) Since you will make a higher effort to play on a quality professional level, you will need a marketing production team, that you can delegate tasks to such as producing professional listing photos, videos (VR to 360-degree tours), virtual staging, etc.
13) This one goes back to point 9.
Especially when it comes to high-end seller clients, you likely need to be able to show a track record of having successfully sold high-dollar properties.
But this is not only limited to high-end sellers, buyers will also probably want to know this.
14) When it comes to communicating with high-end clients, you want to take into consideration their likely psychological profile.
So, by offering over the top professional real estate services, you acknowledge their part of being demanding high achievers with high time awareness.
And by making them feel confident that they will create an outstanding exterior impression with your properties and being a good listener, you can better address a potentially harmed self-worth.
15) Your marketing budget will need to be significantly higher than doing marketing in the average housing market.
This is something you might have already reasoned from the above methods and strategies.
But all these polished print materials, open houses, professional and high-quality video production and photography, publications in print magazines, billboards, and special events for new listings can cost a significant amount of money.
Don’t Forget to Measure the Real Estate Marketing Results
Since you will need a higher marketing budget to attract high-end real estate clients, you don’t want to forget to measure the results you get.
This is an important element of a real estate marketing plan, as already discussed in my past article.
All the spending doesn’t make sense if you don’t get a positive return on investment.
Not to go too much into detail, but you want to know where your high-end clients found out about you.
So you want to register each new client and take note from which marketing channel they came from. By that, you can determine your cost per acquisition (CPA).
This is not an easy thing to do if you get many clients by referrals as is the case in luxury real estate marketing.
The longer the referral chain gets, the more difficult it gets to determine the initial one.
But if you can, you will be able to compare different CPAs of different marketing channels.
Then you can throw out the bad ones and keep the good ones.
You can then focus on the good ones and/or scale them to grow your real estate business further.